Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
Craigflower, Torryburn, Dunfermline, [Scotland, United Kingdom]
JDH/2/16 f.53
Thiselton-Dyer, Sir William Turner
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
© Descendants of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Letters to Thiselton-Dyer
The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Original MS
8 page letter over 2 folios

JDH writes to Sir William Turner Thiselton-Dyer [WTTD] about attending a cattle sale at Dunmore with [James] Colvile. He describes his rooms at Tullyallan [Tulliallan] Castle near Kincardine in Fife. He mentions that Lord Keith filled the house with pictures of Naval engagements & mezzotints of [George] Romney, [Sir Joshua] Reynolds & [John Singleton] Copley & [Francesco] Bartollzzi's things. He describes the house's current owner, Lord William Osborne, who served at the Siege of Bhurtpore & under Colvile's uncle Lord Auckland. He came to Tulliallan through his wife, 'Lady William' [Georgina Augusta Henrietta Keith], & now lives a life of leisure. JDH also describes 'Lady William'. Other people at Tulliallan were: Lady Julia Wombwell, Lord Moreton who is Lord Ducie's son & a Cattle breeder, & a Parson from Ross in Hereford. He describes the cattle sale & the prices fetched. JDH has received letters from WTTD & approves of all his suggestions & his improved letter regarding a grant. JDH is concerned about [John] Smith's health & recommends that WTTD consult Dr Laurence & refer to the kindness of Cundale, for example in the rolling machine accident, & the mischief of a previous doctor called Davis. Mentions the contract for the 'T' [Temperate?] House & potential appintments to natural history positions in Scotland for [E. Ray?] Lankester, [Henry Alleyne] Nicholson of St Andrews & William Carmichael McIntosh. Also mentions: memo to [Algernon Freeman]-Mitford & the board regarding Wilkie, Smith & the management of Kew's buildings by the Clerk of Works; letter about Ceylon [Sri Lanka] forests; [Mordecai Cubitt] Cooke's work on fungi; & [John] Macoun's Canadian plants. Discusses the housing of [John] Peacock's succulents, he would prefer an annex be built on the succulent house to continuing the displacement of the Australian plants from the Octagon. JDH sends his regards to the Brightwen family. He approves of the dismissal of Taylor based on 'neglect of orders'.


Aug[ust] 1879
My dear Dyer*1
We have on the whole better weather than you have -- though no one fine day at all. On that of the Cattle sale at Dunmore it rained torrentially, or with intervals of close--set penetrating wind driven showers for the whole day, & as Colvile*2 & I got no place in the stand, we were miserably off. Tullyallan[sic] is a grand house near Kincardine in Fife -- belonged to Lord Keith [George Elphinstone] & is full of pictures of Naval Engagements & fine mezzotints of [George] Romney, [Sir Joshua] Reynolds & [John Singleton] Copley, of Naval & Military Heroes, Edinburgh worthies &

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Aug[ust] 1879
My dear Dyer*1
We have on the whole better weather than you have -- though no one fine day at all. On that of the Cattle sale at Dunmore it rained torrentially, or with intervals of close--set penetrating wind driven showers for the whole day, & as Colvile*2 & I got no place in the stand, we were miserably off. Tullyallan[sic] is a grand house near Kincardine in Fife -- belonged to Lord Keith [George Elphinstone] & is full of pictures of Naval Engagements & fine mezzotints of [George] Romney, [Sir Joshua] Reynolds & [John Singleton] Copley, of Naval & Military Heroes, Edinburgh worthies &

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lovely mass of [Francesco] Bartollzzi's things. The furniture of our room was gorgeous, the bed room 30 x 30 & with the two dressing rooms we had quite 70 f[ee]t linear of apartments. The bed was hung with green satin. I had 8 towels, & everything to match. Lord William Osborne is an Uncle of the D[uke] of Leeds an old soldier, full of gossip, also had served on the Siege of Bhurtpore! & subsequently been in India as Military Secretary to Lord Auckland*3 (Colvile's Uncle) but most of his time he had been a flâneur*4 in Town & elsewhere, & very late in life married his present wife [Georgina Augusta Henrietta Keith], who brought him to Tallyallan[sic] , where, & in a

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good London House he makes himself very comfortable, & no doubt thinks his well--spent life suitably rewarded at last. He is 70 -- 80 very affable indeed. Lady William is a very little woman, very plain -- quite 70, without a white hair in her head (no false hair) & hunted passionately till 2 years ago when she had a desperate throw. The only people there were Lady Julia Wombwell of Yorkshire fame (a dau[ghter] of late Earl of Jersey), Lord Moreton (Lord Ducie's*5 son & a Cattle breeder) & a queer Ross (Hereford) Parson who knew a little of every thing & breeds too: & looked to me like a cross between an agent & an adventurer in that line, with nought of the Parson about him. Not even the white tie:-- which prompts me to say that a P[arson] without a white tie

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is little better than a white lie. --
Well the cattle sold badly -- though one Cow, a Duchess, brought £3200 I think & a Bull heifer an equally large sum. Two magnificent Clydesdale Stallions brought only £240 & £180 -- Buyers were not many & the bidding slack. Champagne went round in buckets full. Lord D. a very Horsey Gentleman Capt[ain] in the ring like the Whipper in the Circus, & took the Clowns part also! -- We had a good lunch in a tent leaking over my plate. (1000 at least ate) & drank champagne like water. Lady H[yacinth] & Lady Julia got good seats & the latter understood the business.
We returned yesterday too late for post, & I have all your letters. Very many thanks, but you really must not think yourself bound to add so much to your labors by writing so fully to me; except when I can help you. Of course I am very glad to hear all & every thing, but you must think of yourself.
You have improved the letter about the £200 grant &c very much & I am sending it off (copied): I quite approve of all

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you suggest.
I quite fear & indeed expect that Smith*6 will break down. Could you get hold of D[octo]r Laurence? put him on his honor as a medical man, tell him you have had had sam some medical situation; & inform him how useful & kind Cundale was, how mischievous his late D[octo]r (Davis) was, & how bad his successor at Brentford. Also how kind & useful Cundale was in the matter of the Rolling machine accident, when C[undale] might have done Smith any amount of mischief, & swindled him out of any amount of money. If I was at home I could tell D[octo]r L[aurenc]e of the dram drinking -- perhaps you would not like to risk it. I like Laurence as a medical man & [he] would be on his honor.
I am very glad that th you have had your way in regard to the T[emperate?] House contract.
I will do anything I can for Lankester, but I fear that Nicholson*7 will carry the day in Scotland so that McIntosh*8 may get S[ain]t Andrews! I shall be in Edinburgh tomorrow & feel my way.

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The omission of Peacock's*9 succulent is unaccountable. I know that it was over & over again on my mind.
I hope that my memo on Board's letter concerning Wilkie will be effective -- really Mitford*10 seems to be forgetting his work. Both Hunt[?], Potter & Lessels agreed that it was impossible for the C[lerk] of the W[orks] to be Foreman under any circumstances whatever. Mitford seems to have forgotten all about it!
I am very much obliged for the letter about Ceylon [Sri Lanka] Forests which is all that could be desired -- I have sent it on.
Cooke's*11 dealing in Fungi must not disturb us. If he is to have 3 days a week he may do what he likes in them. I quite agree with all you say on that head.

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As to Macoun's*12 Canada plants, I do suppose they are identical with what he sent us.
I am busy with the Report, it is a glorious document. As to Peacock's succulents. I do wish P[eacock] would build an annex to the Succulent House for them. Binder says that the Australian plants have gone back since they left the Octagon, & Smith backs him, on account of the irrepressible drip on the shelves of the centre building.
Now I think I have exhausted our affairs for the present. If my memo about Wilkie &c does not answer it's purpose I must write Mitford myself, first a private note telling him that I will not take responsibility for either Smith or the Garden in the matter of buildings &c, fr & that it is a matter

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of life & death that Smith should be relieved of duties which should devolve on the Clerk of the W[orks] or his foreman. I could rather see the whole of the works put out to contract than go on as we do between Smith & the C[lerk] of the W[orks] Dep[artmen]t.
Ever aff[ectionatel]y your | J D Hooker [signature]
I hope you will enjoy your Sunday out, kindest regards to the Brightwens*13.
From yours just arrived -- I quite approve the letter about Taylor going. You must sign it. I think it would be misinterpreted if I did so. I think it should be headed "Neglect of Orders", & I think it would strengthen it if you added a passage saying that your main object in writing was to show how little idea the C[lerk] of the W[orks] Dep[artmen]t had of the serious nature of the Evil, & of the anxiety & worry it gave to the Officer, Y yourself & Smith who cannot stand it. J.


1. Sir William Turner Thiselton--Dyer (1843--1928). British botanist and third Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (1885 --1905). He succeeded Joseph Hooker in the role after serving as his Assistant Director for ten years. He previoiusly held professorships at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Royal College of Science for Ireland and the Royal Horticultural Society. He married Hooker's eldest daughter Harriet in 1877.
2. Sir James William Colvile (1810--1880). British lawyer, civil servant and then judge in India. He became a judge on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the court of last resort for the British Colonies. Colvile became a friend of Joseph Hooker's during the latter's travels in India from 1848-1851.
3. George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland (1784--1842). Governor--General of India 1836--1842.
4. flâneur -- a man who walks or saunters around observing society.
5. Henry John Reynolds--Moreton, 3rd Earl of Ducie (1827--1821) was a British courtier and a Liberal Party politician.
6. John Smith (1821--1888). Curator or 'head gardener' of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from 1864--1886. His predecessor as Curator was also named John Smith.
7. Henry Alleyne Nicholson (1844--1899). British palaeontologist and Zoologist. He was professor of natural history at St. Andrews University from 1875 to 1882, when he was made Regius Professor of natural history at the University of Aberdeen.
8. William Carmichael McIntosh (1838--1931). Scottish physician and marine zoologist. He was Professor of natural history from 1882--1917 at the University of St. Andrews.
9. Mr John T. Peacock of Sudbury House, Hammersmith expressed a wish to exhibit his well-known and valuable collection of succulent plants. It was decided to offer Mr Peacock the South Octagon of the Temperate House. The collection was particularly rich in specimen plants and in species of Agave which supplemented the general collection already at Kew. Some of the collection was bought by Kew in 1880.
10. Algernon Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale (1837--1916). British diplomat and writer. Secretary to the Office of Works from 1874--1886. The Office of Works was the Government body that oversaw the running of RBG Kew & during his tenure as secretary Mitford supported Joseph Hooker's improvement plans.
11. Mordecai Cubitt Cooke (1825--1914). English botanist and mycologist. He worked as curator at the India Museum at the India Office from 1860 --1879. In 1879 when the botanical collections from the India Museum were transferred to Kew, Cooke went with them.
12. John Macoun (1831--1920). Irish--born Canadian naturalist. He was a teacher who had gained the notice and respect of several professional botanists. Became professor of botany and geology at St. Albert's College in Belleville in 1868. He later joined the Geological Survey of Canada. His plant collection grew to over 100,000 plant specimens.
13. Probably refers to the Brightwen family of Great Yarmouth who were involved with the brewery owned by Joseph Hooker's grandfather Dawson Turner. Joseph Hooker's maternal aunt Hannah Sarah Brightwen née Turner married Thomas Brightwen in 1839.

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